Congratulations to the 2018 Lambda Alpha Awards Winners

The Lambda Alpha Executive Council congratulates the 2018 Lambda Alpha awards winners.  The council also thanks the student society members and faculty sponsors for the national scholarship and graduate research grant applications that were received this year.  A total of $27,000 was awarded for the scholarship and grant competitions.  Additional information regarding the awards winners will be posted on the Lambda Alpha web page in the near future.  Awards information will also be featured in the annual newsletter later this year.

The winners of the 50th Anniversary Lambda Alpha Founder’s Student Paper Competition will be announced in mid-May.

XLIII National Lambda Alpha Senior Scholarship Recipients

Karissa A. Annis
Dr. David D. Meek, Faculty Sponsor
University of Alabama, Beta of Alabama

Emily Haney
Dr. Faith Warner, Faculty Sponsor
Bloomsburg University, Zeta of Pennsylvania

Benjamin M. Merrill
Dr. Barbara J. Dilly, Faculty Sponsor
Creighton University, Alpha of Nebraska

Lambda Alpha Graduate Research Grants Recipients


Nancy K. Williams
Dr. Danielle MacDonald, Faculty Sponsor
University of Tulsa, Alpha of Oklahoma

Lin Yi-Ling
Dr. E.A. Quinn, Faculty Sponsor
Washington University in St. Louis, Beta of Missouri

Cultural Anthropology

M. Ruth Dike
Dr. Mark Whitaker, Faculty Sponsor
University of Kentucky, Delta of Kentucky

Ariel N. Noffke
Dr. Donald Pollock, Faculty Sponsor
State University of New York at Buffalo, Lambda of New York

Biological Anthropology
Emily J. Kate
Dr. Sarah McClure, Faculty Sponsor
Pennsylvania State University, Eta of Pennsylvania

Jennifer R. Torpie-Sweterlitsch
Dr. Patrick Gallagher, Faculty Sponsor
University of Texas at San Antonio, Gamma of Texas

National Office News

50th Logo

Lambda Alpha Turns 50, 1968-2018

March 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Lambda Alpha.  The society was founded in March 1968 by Darrell Casteel, an anthropology student at Wichita State University.  Please see the History and Archives web page for a brief summary of the society’s history.  To celebrate Lambda Alpha’s 50th golden anniversary, several commemorative initiatives are being implemented in 2018.

More Scholarships and Grants in 2018

The primary purpose of Lambda Alpha is to recognize and reward academic excellence among anthropology students.  Consequently, an expanded number of scholarships and grants from four annually in previous years (ca. $10,000 total) to twenty-three awards have been distributed in 2018, totaling $30,000.  Three undergraduate senior scholarships ($5,000 each), six graduate student research grants ($2,000 each), and $3,000 in student paper prizes (14 total prizes) were awarded in 2018.  The application deadline for the scholarships and grants was March 15, 2018.  Information about the 2018 scholarships and grants is available on the Awards page of this web site.

50th Anniversary
Lambda Alpha Founder’s
Student Paper Competition

In addition to the annual scholarship and grant awards, a 2018 student paper competition was sponsored by the society, called the 50th Anniversary Lambda Alpha Founder’s Student Paper Competition. The purpose of the paper competition is to recognize the dedication of past students, faculty, and chapter staff over the past half-century that have supported Lambda Alpha through their membership, mentorship, and assistance.  The paper competition offered $3,000 in fourteen paper prizes and features both an undergraduate and graduate student awards category.  The winning papers from the competition will be considered for publication in the Lambda Alpha Journal as a 2018 50th anniversary thematic volume.  The submission deadline for the student paper competition was April 15, 2018.  A download link for the student paper prize application form is posted on the Awards page of this web site.

If the 50th anniversary student paper competition is a success, then the society will consider periodically sponsoring paper prizes in the future, based on chapter responses and the effort involved in reviewing the amount of submitted papers.

New Lambda Alpha Merchandise

In addition to a larger number of awards, a new line of Lambda Alpha merchandise is being offered in 2018.  Featuring the Lambda Alpha logo, the new merchandise consists of t-shirts and baseball-style caps.  Graduation regalia stoles and pins are also still available from the society.  See the Merchandise page on the society’s web site for further details.

Student and Faculty Highlights

In 2018 the 50th anniversary newsletter will be distributed via email between early to middle fall, after the society awards have been distributed to students in spring.  For the 50th anniversary newsletter we ask that chapter faculty sponsors consider submitting professional biographical sketches of their former students that illustrate the Lambda Alpha ideals of academic excellence and achievement.  We would especially like to showcase career-related student success stories from the chapters located across the country.  This is a great opportunity to highlight noteworthy former students, so please let us know about your chapter’s high-achievers over the years.  The professional summaries can be concise or detailed.  We also welcome professional sketches about noteworthy former chapter faculty sponsors that helped encourage and support student achievement and success.  Chapter photographs, past and present, are also encouraged for the 50th anniversary newsletter.

New Chapter Recruitment Drive: Twenty-Five at Fifty

To commemorate Lambda Alpha’s 50th anniversary, the national office is proactively recruiting new chapters in 2018.  Our goal this year is to recruit twenty-five new chapters during the 50th anniversary year in 2018.  To help with the chapter recruiting drive we encourage chapter faculty sponsors to encourage colleagues in other anthropology departments to consider establishing a new Lambda Alpha chapter.  Information about establishing  a new chapter is located on the For Faculty Sponsors page of this web site.

For existing chapters, we encourage departments and faculty sponsors to recruit new chapter members during 2018.  If you have an existing chapter in your department that is inactive or dormant, consider reviving the chapter.  Information about reactivating dormant chapters is located on the For Faculty Sponsors web page of this site.

New Virtual Office, Administrative Coordinator, and Contact Information in 2018

Since 1985 the Lambda Alpha National Office was located in the Department of Anthropology at Ball State University.  To reduce operating costs and increase funding for student awards, the Lambda Alpha National Office left Ball State in December 2017.  The Lambda Alpha National Office has since adopted a virtual office format.   In addition to the new virtual office format, the society has also developed a new web page.  The web page has a simple web address, is designed to have a visitor-friendly navigation format, and is intended to encourage communication with anthropology students and faculty sponsors.  The new web page address is  The society’s new email address is  Melanie Cabak, a historical archaeologist with an M.A. degree in anthropology from the University of South Carolina (1991), has replaced Barb Di Fabio as administrative coordinator for the society.  Barb retired in December 2017.  The Lambda Alpha Executive Council members thank her for her twenty years of service to the society from 1997 to 2017.  The new office address information is listed on the Contact page of the society’s web site.

2017 Lambda Alpha Newsletter
The 2017 Lambda Alpha newsletter is available in pdf format.
Click on the link below for a copy of the newsletter.
Lambda Alpha Newsletter 2017

2018 Chapter Directory
The 2018 chapter directory is posted on the Contact site page.  If faculty sponsors have chapter address or contact information corrections, please send them to the national office via email:, subject line Directory.

In the News
Our past is complex: As reported in the March issue of Nature, archaeologists struggle to reconcile the revision of prehistory provided by the recent DNA revolution.

Divided by DNA: The uneasy relationship between archaeology and ancient genomics

See the news links below for more anthropology news items.

News Links

Anthropology News

Archaeology News

Science News

May Cultural Dates and Events

May Day, May 1


Cinco de Mayo, May 5


Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month


Jewish American Heritage Month


LA Seal Anniv

Web site editor: Mark Groover
Last site update April 27, 2018

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